Scottish Government
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Support for lifelong learning

Five projects are to receive a share of £941,000 from the Scottish Government's new International fund to promote Scotland's colleges and universities to the world.

Announcing the successful bidders, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop said the funding would help provide world class learning opportunities for students and staff, which would benefit them, Scotland's colleges and universities and the economy.

Ms Hyslop said:

"In the present economic climate, it is even more important that the Scottish Government should create a smarter, fairer Scotland with opportunities for everyone to flourish. Lifelong learning has a key part to play in that, offering benefits for individuals, our colleges and universities and industry.

"Scotland's education system is one of our competitive advantages and at a time when the brightest and best will be more discerning about where they study, promoting Scotland becomes even more important.

"This new fund will support our work to promote international lifelong learning by increasing the capacity of our colleges and universities to attract and retain students and high calibre staff from across the globe, while improving opportunities for students and staff from Scotland to develop their skills and experience overseas.

"The successful bids will also help promote and enhance Scotland's reputation in the further and higher education market throughout the world, while enabling us to ensure that we continue to deliver world class learning opportunities at home."

Roy Cross, Director British Council Scotland and Chair of the International Lifelong Learning Co-ordinating group, said:

"The Strategic Investment Fund is a fantastic opportunity to support delivery of the aims of Scotland's international lifelong learning strategy. We expect that these successful projects will have a significant impact across the lifelong learning sector and offer benefits for individuals, our colleges and universities and industry

"This funding will add value through additional national activities to the core activities of partner organisations which are already taking forward the strategy. The co-ordinating group envisage that these initiatives will help promote an identity and image of Scotland as an excellent place in which to live, learn, visit, work, do business and invest; and promote Scotland as an independent-minded nation."

The successful bidders are:

  • The Scottish Universities International Group which has been awarded £130,000 for an international press campaign in India and China
  • The National Union of Students Scotland has been awarded £195,125 for a project which aims to support and encourage greater integration of international students with students in Scotland, helping enhance the international experience for them both. The project will also seek to support and encourage outward mobility of Scottish students
  • The University of the West of Scotland has been awarded £232,500 for a three-year pilot aimed at increasing international collaboration between colleges and universities. This aims to provide more opportunities for students to study in Scotland and more opportunities for Scottish students to study overseas
  • Scotland's Colleges International has been awarded £250,225 for a project which aims to support a more strategic and proactive approach to international business development in the college sector
  • The Glasgow Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services has been granted £133,399 to support the global employability of all of our students, by offering access to international employers through a series of virtual careers fairs focussed on selected countries and regions over a three-year period.

Ms Hyslop announced the establishment of the international lifelong learning fund on May 4 this year. It was set up by the Co-ordinating Group for the International Lifelong Learning Strategy which includes representatives from the Scottish Government, college and university sectors and other stakeholders such as the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Qualifications Authority

Colleges, universities and other organisations were invited to bid for a share of the Strategic Investment Fund - to be provided over three years on a match-funding basis.

In total, £941,249 is being announced to the five successful bidders announced today. The Co-ordinating group will continue to provide advice to the Cabinet Secretary on how best to support implementation of the International Lifelong Learning strategy.

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